My thoughts on OJ: Made in America

Wow, just zipped through all five parts of this amazing documentary.  I was hesitant since I recently finished American Crime Story on the same topic but this was different and even better.  I didn’t really know who OJ Simpson was when he was tried in the 1990s.  I knew he was a football player but I didn’t realize how popular he was, both on and off the field.

It was fascinating to watch his spectacular rise to fame from humble beginnings, but watching his decline was tough.  I believe he committed the murders based on the forensic evidence and the fact that no one else had a motive to kill the two victims, especially in such a brutal fashion.  I’ve read speculation online that his son Jason played a part in the murders as well, but the LAPD never followed up on any other potential suspects once OJ was arrested so I guess we’ll never know.

My theory is that OJ Simpson suffers from CTE from too many hits to the head during his career.  You combine that with his celebrity status of being loved and adored no matter what, and his seeming obsession with Nicole, and there you go.  I think it was just a lethal combination of factors that all came together at once.  I’m curious if an autopsy will confirm the CTE after his death.

There are no happy endings for anyone in this story.  I think of the tremendous potential of Nicole Brown and Ron Goldman that will never be realized due to their untimely deaths. I think of the fact that OJ Simpson had the whole world on a string and could have been anything he wanted and he threw it all away.  I think of his four children who could potentially have become pro athletes, actors, photographers, etc. and instead faded into obscurity.  I think of Robert Kardashian who may have kept his family from torturing us on  reality tv had he lived.

The interesting piece of this documentary was how it showed that some black people viewed OJ Simpson as their symbol of racial strife in America.  From what I saw, OJ Simpson was a wealthy black man who lived, worked, and played with mostly white people.  He never sought out to be a beacon of hope for black people, yet those shown in the film believed that he was.  He benefited from that viewpoint yet he never appeared to embrace the people who so championed him.  It really is a fascinating commentary on race in America.

The shame in all of it is that the two victims were overlooked in favor of the race issue, which had nothing whatsoever to do with the crimes.  I wonder if OJ will resume his search for the real killer if he’s paroled next year?

One final note, Carl Douglas needs his own show!

 

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My thoughts on OJ: Made in America

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